PNG’s exchange rate policy hurting the poor

A Papua New Guinean woman and her children dry coffee beans outside their house in the Western Highlands, Nebilyer Valley. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Paul Flanagan, ANU

Earlier this year, Papua New Guinea moved away from a market-based exchange rate. It seemed just a technical announcement at the time. The central bank indicated that the exchange rate would float within a narrow band around the interbank exchange rate. However, this seemingly innocuous announcement has major implications for PNG’s future development. Read more…

Are you being served? The service sector in development

A vendor arranges baskets of fresh chilli at a local market in downtown Hanoi. Informal markets could provide as much as 80 per cent of Hanoi’s food supply. (Photo: AAP)

Author: John Conroy, ANU

The role of the service sector in development has been discussed in two recent posts on East Asia Forum. Batten and Mellor’s article examined service sector activities in Vietnam and Papua New Guinea (PNG), two countries where the service sector makes up a lower share of economic activity than the ASEAN average.

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Services as a driver of Asia’s economic growth

The services industry is the most rapidly growing component of international trade, connecting trade in goods to international investment flows in highly sophisticated networks of value chains in the most dynamic parts of the international economy. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

Services industries are a feature of modern, rich economies. High levels of professional skill and research and innovative capability, and the educational and commercial infrastructure that underpin them, make the difference between middle-income and really high-income economies. Read more…

Deterring criminals in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O'Neill arrives to participate in a national 'haus krai' day of mourning in Port Moresby on May 15, 2013. O'Neill apologised on May 15 for violence against women in the country as he vowed to toughen penalties for offenders after a spate of horrific crimes (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sean Jacobs, Canberra

A recent decision by Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) government to strengthen the nation’s criminal code has re-awakened the debate over the role of deterrence in reducing crime.

Much of the commentary surrounding the proposed changes has focused on the reinstatement of the death penalty. Read more…

Riding with square wheels: governing in PNG

A picture of Papua New Guinean tribespeople in 1884, just after official British colonisation (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sean Jacobs, Canberra

Sir Paul Hasluck, the Australian Minister for Territories from 1951 to 1963, once described PNG as ‘a task for Sisyphus’.

No matter how much he pushed the boulder to the top of the hill, Hasluck lamented, it could never quite stay at the top. ‘I think I did just as well as Sisyphus did’, he wrote in A Time for Building, ‘and certainly got just as tired’. Read more…

Can Papua New Guinea capitalise on its Asia boom?

Australian foreign minister Bob Carr and PNG foreign minister Rimbink Pato walk through a market in Mt Hagen in Papua New Guinea on 4 December 2012. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

Papua New Guinea has enjoyed a period of heady growth over the past decade on the back of the China-driven global commodities boom. Currently at 9 per cent, GDP growth over the past 10 years has averaged around 6 per cent. Read more…

Can PNG convert growth into development?

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill speaking at the National Pess Club in Canberra on 28 November 2012. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Stephen Howes, ANU

Papua New Guinea experienced yet another year of high growth in 2012: GDP growth over the past 10 years has averaged close to 6 per cent.

Growth is expected to slow this year, but the medium-term outlook remains positive. Read more…

Papua New Guinea prepares for an Asian Century

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill speaks about development changes in the Pacific at the National Pess Club in Canberra, on Wednesday, 28 November 2012. (Photo:AAP)

Author: Sean Jacobs, Canberra

In late 2012 Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill delivered a series of speeches that give clues to the country’s growth and political aspirations.

For some time, observers of the country have been kept on a slim diet of academic analysis or fragmented news items for their understanding of the country and the intentions of its political leaders. Read more…

No thanks, not yet: PNG’s ASEAN bid

The Peace Palace venue in Phnom Penh, 20 November 2012. Papua New Guinea has long attempted to join ASEAN. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sean Jacobs, Canberra

Papua New Guinea’s dynamic economic growth over the past decade has created an appetite for big-picture trade and diplomatic ties, symbolised by its ongoing attempts to join ASEAN.


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PNG ‘land grab’ update

Trucks transport timber from areas undergoing deforestation in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea (Photo: AAP).

Author: Colin Filer, ANU

The Commission of Inquiry’s final report on Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) should soon be tabled in Papua New Guinea’s national parliament.

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Economic challenges for the new Papua New Guinea government

Newly re-elected Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter ONeill poses for a group photograph with his cabinet in Port Moresby on 3 August 2012. The biggest challenge for the new government for the next decade is improving the inclusiveness of economic growth. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Aaron Batten, ADB

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG’s) incoming government will inherit an economy buoyed by a decade of rapid economic growth and poised to reap the benefits of its vast natural wealth.

After the state was nearly bankrupted in 2001, real per capita income has risen by 150 per cent and private sector employment has more than doubled.

Read more…

Papua New Guinea goes to the polls

Police gather at Boroko Police Station in Port Moresby on 16 June 2012. The police are preparing to fly to the Southern Highlands to provide security for the 2012 Papua New Guinea election. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ron May, ANU

Papua New Guinean politics has been marked in recent months by political impasse: defiance of Supreme Court rulings, the passage of dubious legislation, the arrest of the chief justice, a brief military coup, attempts to sack the electoral commissioner and postpone the scheduled national election, and the declaration of a state of emergency in Port Moresby and parts of the highlands.

But it now seems certain that Papua New Guineans will go the polls for the country’s eighth national election beginning on 23 June. Read more…